Perfect Baked Fish Fillets
Sometimes you just want perfect baked fish fillets… here’s how to do it.
Since we moved into our new apartment I haven’t been cooking much fish. This is a hardship for me because I truly love seafood. But the first time I made fish here, the smell lingered for days. It was so bad that I couldn’t imagine how to fix this, so I ignored the issue and just didn’t cook it here again.
This week I decided, enough is enough… I really want my fish! Not only did I make this recipe once, but I made a version of it 3 times. Not only didn’t it smell bad, but I was able to perfect the recipe.
I learned a few things about myself: One is that sometimes I can be not too bright — it turns out the reason the seafood smelled so badly the first time was that it was Thanksgiving, and I cooked a huge platter of many different kinds of seafoods for a ton of people. Any person using her brain would have realized you can’t cook 10 pounds of seafood in a small apartment without some lingering smell! The second thing I learned is that I really do like my fish cooked simply. Simple flavors and simple cooking methods. I made this fish first with lots of awesome aromatics and spices… it seemed like it was going to be great… but, all I could taste were the spices, not the fish. By the time I finished perfecting this perfect baked fish fillets recipe, it was cooked so simply that the freshness of the delicious fish was able to shine and I was able to top it with some awesome fresh garnishes that really made it look and taste great.
Sometimes it takes a few mistakes to get things right. And, these were some happy (OK, maybe not happy, but not so bad) mistakes.
This fish is ever so slightly crusted with a mixture that keeps the inside moist and tasty and gives a great texture to the outside of the fillets. It is so easy to make that it’s perfect for a weeknight meal, and it’s versatile enough that you can garnish it with whatever makes you smile.
By the way, here’s the recipe that made my house smell: Seafood Salad With Garlic Oil. I’m giving it to you because it’s so delicious, and I promise that if you are not making as much as I had to make for Thanksgiving, it won’t linger in your house!
Why is this so good for you… let me count the ways:
Fish is great to eat if you feel like you need more energy. It’s also helps with diarrhea and hemorrhoids. I used cod for this recipe, but almost any fish would be delicious with this preparation and creamy mustard sauce. Red Snapper, like many fish varieties, is good for the cardiovascular system; it helps protect against heart attacks and strokes and can help regulate blood pressure. It’s also very low in calories… so have a nice big piece!
Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.
Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes with tapioca flour — it seems to crisp things up well — it certainly works well on this fish.
- ¾ lb red snapper fillets (or whatever white-fleshed fish you like), cut into 4 pieces
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- sea salt and black pepper
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 hot red pepper, sliced for garnish
- 2 scallions, sliced, for garnish
- lemon slices, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425°F regular bake setting.
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place a rack on top of the sheet.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper.
- Place the tapioca flour in a shallow dish or pie plate. Season the flour generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the chili powder and turmeric.
- Coat each piece of fish in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
- Place each coated fillet on the rack that's on top of your baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 22 minutes, or until cooked through.
- (Note: mine took 22 minutes on the convections setting. All ovens cook differently, so check yours often; if you are using the regular bake setting it may take a little longer, depending on the thickness of your fish.)